I have had many people ask me when I was called. How did I know I was called. What are some of my experiences with God. In interviews with executive teams, conversations with pastors, and reflections with friends. These are the things that come up.
This weekend I led worship and spoke at Indiana Girls’ Retreat, which included girls aged 8-12, plus a few younger and older than that. At my session, one of the girls asked a question that no one has asked me yet.
“How did you feel when you became a missionary?”
On her face was a look of sincerity and intensity. She had a look of intentionality that told me that maybe for her, this question went deeper than a simple Q&A with a missionary. I don’t know how to describe the curiosity in her eyes other than a hunger. She needed to know.
What a deeply personal question. One that an adult would know better than to ask. Part of my brain told me to tell this child that ministry is wonderful, that it is a dream, and that it is all amazing. That I felt awesome. But part of me remembered what it was like to be a child in this context, and to be so hungry for honesty.
“Do you want the good missionary answer or do you want me to answer as myself?” I asked. “Answer as yourself!” they yelled back.
So I told them that it scared me. I told them that sometimes I didn’t want to do it, and sometimes I wanted an easier life for myself. I told them that I felt excited, and that sometimes it felt like an adventure. I told them that I felt honored, and I told them that this was my dream job. I told them about obedience and about faith and fear and all of the above. (In age appropriate vocabulary, of course.)
I hope that the look on her face gets burned into my mind. Beyond her tangled blonde hair and her gangly limbs, I hope the hunger in her eyes stays with me. We are all hungry for honesty. For reality. For authenticity. The people I speak to need me to be honest, and I need to share my heart honestly.
We all have the need for that honest connection, and I hope I can remember to share from my heart as openly as this girl asked me to.